Helen Keller Sketch for a Portrait Author:Van Wyck Brooks An illuminating portrait of the deaf-blind woman whose triumph over her disabilities has made her life an inspiration to the entire world for three-courters of a century. It is not so much a biography (though the main incidents of her life are here) as an appreciation of the mental and spiritual qualities of Helen Keller which Van Wyck Brooks ha... more »s discovered through 20 years of personal friendship and a close study of her life and writings.
As almost everyone knows, Helen Keller was released from the prison of her physical handicap by Anne Sullivan("Teacher" as her famous pupil always called her,) the extraordinary young woman who first brought the rebellious 7-year-old into meaningful contact with the world around her. By the time she was 12, Helen was a celebrity: the friend of Alexander Graham Bell, Phillips Brooks, Mark Twain; the object of affectionate interest of crowned heads and presidents: the "marvel" of Boston. She has kept this position of eminence throughout her life with the help of the devoted companionship of Anne Sullivan and later Polly Thompson.
But it is the extraordinary quality of Helen Keller's mind and spirit, which responded so magnificently to a terrible physical challenge, the Van Wyck Brooks has managed to portray so clearly in this beautiful book. In the course of a long and eventful life-full of work and travel, of devotion to her friends and service to her fellow afflicted, through sorrow and joy-has emerged, Brooks reveals, a modern saint.« less